If you are injured due to a defective product, you could be eligible for compensation. However, before you can proceed with a lawsuit, you need to know what type of product defect you experienced. The three basic types are:
- Design defects
- Manufacturing defects
- Marketing defects
Each product defect is different, and the type of defect determines who is liable for your injuries and damages. Of course, a personal injury attorney is your greatest asset in determining what actions are necessary and whom they involve. But we can give you a basic definition to help you begin.
A design defect means the product was designed poorly or not properly tested, making it dangerous to use. There was a foreseeable risk that if the product were made as intended and used as intended, it would cause injury. This would mean the entire line of product has the same risk and is dangerous to the consumer.
Example: A person purchases a table fan. The fan has a guard over the metal fan blades. However, there is an opening in the guard that is a few inches across between each row. The person accidentally touches the fan while in operation and injures his finger and hand. He used the product as it was intended and it was manufactured as instructed. In the end, the defect is in the design because the guard did not protect the user. Fans with similar guards prove it is possible for the guard to work if the product’s design was corrected.
When the design of the product is sound, but the product becomes a danger during the manufacturing process, it is a manufacturing defect. This is usually due to cheap materials or mistakes during assembly. If the products were properly constructed according to the design, they would not have become a danger.
Example: You purchase a plant trimmer. The plant trimmer is designed for trimming roses, vegetables, and small plants. While you are trimming your rose bush, a screw breaks, causing the clippers to come apart and you are hit in the eye by the end of the blade. If a quality screw was used to hold the clippers together as the designer intended, and since you were using the product as instructed, the manufacturer is at fault for the design.
This type of legal action is not as common as the other two, but it is just as serious and deserves consideration. If a manufacturer or seller of a product knows there is a dangerous element associated with the intended use of the product and they do not warn the consumer or purchaser, they may be liable for any injuries. This is an issue that often is found in medical products. If the seller is aware of the issue and does nothing to protect the consumer, he is responsible.
Example: A hospital is sold hernia mesh patches to use surgically to repair hernias. However, use of the patch carries a risk of infection, which requires painful and expensive reconstructive surgery. If the hospital or patient did not know about the risk due to the seller, then the issue would be a marketing defect.
As you can see, the differences between the types of product defects are not always clear. There are cases when more than one person is responsible for the victim’s injury, and your attorney will act against all the guilty parties involved. Each case is different.
If you are injured by a defect product, do not discard the item or any of its pieces. Give the product and any additional documents to your attorney. For instance, if you have an internal medical device that your doctor wants to replace due to failure, tell him that you want the device that he removes. Provide the device and your medical bills to your attorney. This will make it easier for your attorney to prove your case.
About the Author:
Attorney Stephen Phillips has spent his entire career fighting for people who have been injured. As a result, his experience and accolades are immaculate, and his law firm is regarded as one of the best in the country. Click here for more information.